One morning Anna’s husband Hamish arrives at the breakfast table with a suitcase and the announcement that he’s leaving her for her best friend Estelle and taking the kids with him. After their departure, in desperation to get her mind off her grief and fury, Anna carries on listening to the true-crime podcast serial she’d just started, about a triple murder on a yacht in the Bay of Biscay. The case is of especial interest to her since one of the victims was an old acquaintance of hers.
She carries on listening after Estelle’s husband, faded anorexic rock star Fin, arrives on her doorstep seeking some kind of companionship in misery, and even while they travel by car toward the north of Scotland (the Black Isle, where my own family originated). Somehow between the two of them they hatch the idea of trying to solve the old murder case . . .
It took me a little while to realize what Conviction reminded me so strongly of, and then I realized that what I was reading was in effect a 21st-century John Buchan novel. Although the quest eventually takes Anna and Fin far and wide — to Continue reading